Subject: CONG: Dear Colleague on Bush and Indonesian Military
October 17, 2003
This week, President Bush declared that, in the name of the war on terror, the United States will seek to resume military cooperation with Indonesia. This cooperation was suspended in 1999 due to the terror inflicted on the people of East Timor by the Indonesian military.
U.S. assistance for the Indonesian military (TNI) and resumption of other forms of military-to-military cooperation, without any conditions that require the military to address and improve their human rights record, essentially rewards the TNI for its own terrorism, including the past abuses in East Timor, the current assault on civilians in Aceh, and numerous other human rights violations. Please consider the following:
* During the last period of martial law in Aceh (1989-1998), an estimated 10,000 civilians were killed. Several sources have reported that hundreds of people have already been killed, raped, and arbitrarily arrested by the Indonesian military in Aceh so far this year.
* In its campaign against separatists in Papua, the Indonesian military has reportedly burned villages, interned Christian clergy, and tortured and murdered detainees. * The Indonesian military is known to be responsible for mass killings, rape, and other war crimes in East Timor, but has yet to truly be held accountable. In fact, several military officers responsible for those war crimes are currently directing the war in Aceh, according to Human Rights Watch. "Their participation in the conflict in Aceh demonstrates the Indonesian government's unwillingness to ensure that past atrocities will not be repeated."
* There has been little progress in the investigation of the murder of two American teachers and the wounding of 12 others, including a 6-year-old girl, in West Papua last year. No one has yet been held responsible for these crimes, widely believed to have been committed by the military.
In light of current and past human rights abuses by this corrupt institution, I urge you to oppose President Bush's call to renew ties with Indonesia's military unless significant conditions are included to address past and present human rights abuses.
s/ LANE EVANS Member of Congress
-- Karen Orenstein Washington Coordinator East Timor Action Network: 12 Years for Self-determination and Justice tel: 202-544-6911; fax: 202-544-6118 firstname.lastname@example.org; www.etan.org